View Full Version : My first octave
I just got muy first octave yesterday, right here from the good old Cafe classifieds. It is a tenor guitar conversion with a 23 inch scale. It is an old Harmony. It's rough cosmetically but the sound is awesome to my ears. I'm still trying to figure it out. The new scale is a stretch coming from the mando but I can play alot of the mando songs I know....Soldiers Joy, Blackberry Blossom, Si Boag Si Mohr. Just the tried to play these last night. I am sort of enthralled with tone of this beast. It's deep yet has a sweetness on the treble side. There's a good amount of sustain and depth also. The $300 price was easy on the pocket book too. These thing are awesome!
Big Mandos Rule! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
Congratulations Bob, I know you've been thinking about buying one for a long time. Good luck with it.
Looks very interesting. Do you know much about the conversion? Is the neck from a different instrument, or was it reworked? Were the extra holes in the head for the 2 added winders added on? What kind of wood is the body? Any idea how old it is?
Well I dont know the age for sure, but it is from the '60's. #The top is solid spruce and the back and sides might be maple ply, not sure. #It is rough but it's mine and I like it. #Open chords ring very sweetly. #It is a conversion from a Harmony guitar. #23 inch scale. #I'm really digging it but the stretch is hard to get used to. #Alot of moving around the neck to get a melody.
Got back from my lesson and my instructor was stoked I got it. He really liked it alot. We played and jammed slot. This OM seems easier for me to play chords than my mando. Playing rythmn is more rewarding and less frustrating on this baby than my mando. It seems with the wider neck my bigger hands can soread out and get the chord easier. The A chord is a real left hand stretcher though. That will require lots of pratice to be able to hit that chord cleanly and on time.
You have been looking for a zouk or OM for quite a time, and you finally picked your choice, super!!
Do you know from what year the original guitar was?
I dont know what year but there is a visable serial number. How would I use that to search for the year?
I don't know. My guess is post it here, maybe some Harmony expert will show up. Have you tried looking for serial # on google?
No not yet. Things are crazy at my house right now. The house is being painted and I am doing a roofing project tonight. Barely haqve time to check email and here. Summer projects you know.
Way to go Bob... F holed Octaves are cool...! dang... Now I want one!
I have found a small separation of the back at the end of the neck so I took all the tension off the strings and have put it back in the case for now. I havent had a chance to get to it so I havent been playing it. boo hoo! To many honey do's and summer vacation stuff. more later
I feel depressed! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif I have since found a crack in the fretboard/neck at the end on the top side. I fear this is going to cost some bucks to get fixed. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif The worst part is that I didnt find this stuff out until after our 48 hrs. I was playing it so much I just didnt look it over to well. Kind of got wrapped up in the sound. The guy never returned my calls either, bummer. How does the latin go, "caveat emptor"
Well I got good news today. I took the om to my repair guy and he said no problem. Easy repair only about $45. He said the instrument looks like its in great shape for its age.
I'm glad to hear the good news about the repair need. I know how much you agonized over your choice of instrument and it must have been a real heartbreaker to find the crack!
Yes I was quite bummed out when I found it. I dreaded for about a week taking it into the repair shop. My repair guy took one look at it and cheerfully sai " no problem, I can fix that and make it better than it was" He really liked the instrument even though cosmetically it is no gem. It was the sound that struck me when I first played it. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
Take it easy on that new octave mando. Like you said earlier the "stretch and a lot of moving around" will wear you out. It is addictive to play these things. Pace yourself. When I got mine I played it so much that I got tendonitis (near my elbow was where the pain hit me). It is so much fun but don't slam away at it full force at first.Thats all. I'll go away now.
No worries ima. I can hardly wait to get the sweetheart back!
Got my baby back to day! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
Played for about an hour! Had to replace the old tailpiece because when I tuned it up one of the tabs in the stamped tailpiece popped off. Boy was I hot! Luckily I had a spare. Put a new set of John Pearse octaves on it. Once they settled in everything was cool. Got to play a couple of songs with my little girl singing! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Now my arm is sore so I'll lay off for a few days. Well maybe just one. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif
steve V. johnson
I'm really glad your repair adventure turned out all right! Congrats!
p.s. I kinda hate stamped tailpieces, since I've had a cast one...
I was playing the chords on my beast today at my lesson. We were hammering out the Irish Washerwoman. We did two rounds and when we were done my instructor said I could take that on the street corner and get a few nickels in my case! HA HA! I am finally getting used to the reach on the 23 inch monster. Need LOTS of practice for melodies but am getting ok on the chords. Playing the Minor chords is a challenge but is coming. Love this big dog. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif
If you want some advices go on my website in English link http://cbom.free.fr
Veering a bit off-topic: is there a good book or two out there that will tell me how to set up an instrument? I have my own Harmony tenor guitar and plan to learn a few things setting it up as an octave. Any suggestions?
Thanks as always.
Here's some good advice from Frank Ford at Frets.com. He is a luthier/repairman at Gryphon strings in Palo Alto I believe. I hope this helps.
Octave conversion (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Structural/8StConvert/8stconvert.html)